May 3, 2008


Two Minutes, 20 Horses, One Champion (MAX WATMAN, May 2, 2008, NY Sun)

Rick Dutrow said in the Racing Form last weekend of his Big Brown, the favorite: "I feel he's the best horse in the race — I feel he's going to win the race."

That's good. That's what you should feel. Someone has felt that way about every horse in the gate. A breeder thought that four years ago as he plotted out the pedigrees, and others have worked for three years at a careful plan that allowed for the fact that the star of the show was a huge, temperamental, fragile beast seemingly bent on self destruction and unable to speak.

Now: They are inside the fishbowl. Around them swirls the crowd: the dancing bottle of Early Times, the seersuckered young men, the high heels, and the hats. They will hear the roar of 150,000 as they step through the post parade. They will cock their ears and wonder at the slurred and jumbled verse of "My Old Kentucky Home."

The ones that go to the gate on Derby day, even the worst of them, are the survivors. They have raced and won. They have avoided injury. They've proven 20 hunches right already — they were, in fact, the Derby Horse. Two more minutes, two turns and we'll know just how big these horses are.

Trainer and co-owner of Recapturetheglory, Louie Roussel III, said of the Derby: "It's a very tough race to win. You have to have your horse at a peak — not two days before the race, but on the first Saturday in May. He's got to be able to run his best race, and you've got to bring a horse here that is coming off of these other races and hope that he can improve. Because if he's coming off of these prep races, even though you're winning and you're running good, if he cannot improve for that first Saturday in May it's no good."

Compare this to Rick Dutrow's braggadocio when he said of the favorite, like a man who could benefit from a short class in Greek tragedy: "Until somebody shows me the beast, this is not a tough horse race."

There is no denying that Big Brown's victories have been spectacular, but you've got to go all the way around the track before they give you the money.

Pick Win and Place --the 20 horses are here--and we'll give away some more books.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at May 3, 2008 3:36 PM

win: Pyro
place: Big Brown

Posted by: Rich at May 2, 2008 10:16 AM

The Derby is a crap-shoot. Almost any horse can win (especially in a field of 20). And as we all know the favorite almost never pulls it off. So I'm asking my 7th graders to pick two numbers from 1 to 20.

So with that in mind:
1st Monba
2nd Recapturetheglory

Posted by: Bartman at May 2, 2008 12:46 PM

win: Colonel John
place: Court Vision

Posted by: Shelton at May 2, 2008 12:50 PM

First: Colonel John
Second: Adriano

Posted by: Burnham at May 2, 2008 12:57 PM

win: Colonel John
place: Adriano

Posted by: Burnham at May 2, 2008 12:58 PM

win: Colonel John
place: Pyro

Posted by: Mike Morley at May 2, 2008 1:37 PM

Nothing like playing the lottery for free...


Posted by: b at May 2, 2008 2:06 PM

Win: Gayego
Place: Z Fortune

Posted by: TimF at May 3, 2008 2:13 AM

Win: Colonel John
Place: Big Brown

Posted by: mg at May 3, 2008 6:07 AM

win Gayego
place Colonel John

Posted by: h-man at May 3, 2008 8:16 AM


Posted by: oj at May 3, 2008 8:50 AM

Big Brown
Colonel John

Z Fortune third

Posted by: Patrick H at May 3, 2008 12:51 PM

Win: Pyro
Place: Adriano

Posted by: Dave P at May 3, 2008 1:48 PM

Win: Eight Belles
Place: Gayego

Posted by: KRS at May 3, 2008 1:56 PM

In honor of the new, improved Hillary! Clinton, Woman of the People, the center-right Democrat who's a Methodist just like W and definitely isn't a gun-grabbing baby-killing socialist anymore, nosireebob, I'll go with Big Truck to win and Cool Coal Man to place. It's no more unlikely than the new and improved Hillary.

Posted by: Random Lawyer at May 3, 2008 2:11 PM

1. Pyro
2. Colonel John

Posted by: jeff at May 3, 2008 2:48 PM

Court Vision
Colonel John

Posted by: oj at May 3, 2008 4:10 PM

Win: Adriano
Place: Court Vision

Posted by: Matt Murphy at May 3, 2008 4:55 PM

First: Eight Belles
Second: Visionaire

Posted by: Brian McKim at May 3, 2008 5:16 PM